I remember being asked at one of my baby showers if I was using disposable or cloth diapers and saying, "Are you crazy? Cloth? Ew, gross!". It's funny remembering that moment, because now that we use cloth, I wouldn't even dream of going back. Now when I hear disposables I think, "Ew!" I wish I had researched cloth earlier (like before she was born) because we didn't start using them till she was about 6 months old. I would estimate that we have spent about $250 on diapers, covers and wipes. Ok, with the two new additions (goodmamas) maybe that's more like $300. We use primarily prefolds, but have a few pockets and now a couple of fitteds. Most of you are close friends and already know why we chose this route. But for others, here are the reasons we use cloth diapers:
Even if we were to switch to all pocket diapers, which cost about $15-20 per diaper, we would still save money in the long run. Some research says that the average parent spends $3000 on disposable diapers from birth to potty training. $3000!! This handy little calculator helps you figure out how much money you will save if you switch to cloth http://www.diaperpin.com/calculator/calculator.asp
This savings will increase if you use the diapers for more than one child (which we will do). Cloth diapers also have resale value, so if we have any left that aren't completely worn out we can sell them! I can't tell you how good it feels when I change a diaper to know that I'm not literally throwing money away.
2. Health and Comfort
There are many chemicals in disposable diapers. It may not seem like a big deal, but think about the fact that your baby is sitting in these chemicals 24 hours a day for 3 or so years of their life (depending on when they potty train). Azalia had a lot of diaper rash issues when she was in disposables. Those rashes are virtually non-existent in cloth. She will get the occasional rash, but it clears up so much faster in cloth. Plus, have you felt a disposable diaper? They are not soft by any means. They are lined in plastic. But cotton, bamboo velour, fleece, now that's soft.
There is much debate on both sides of this issue. But from my research it appears to me that cloth is definitely kinder to our beautiful earth than disposable. We throw 18 billion disposable diapers into landfills each year. Each year. It's estimated that disposable diapers take as long as 500 years to decompose. Some may argue that you waste water by washing diapers over and over. However, the amount of water used to wash diapers is equal to the amount of water an adult or toliet-trained child would use flushing the toliet 5 to 6 times a day. I almost get giddy when I realize how much less waste my family is putting into landfills because of this. Using cloth and recycling has literally cut our trash amount 75%. I kidd you not.
Last, but certainly not least is the cute factor. This is pretty self-explanatory, but indulge me. Most disposable diapers are plain, white, plastic and covered in advertising aimed at getting your children to buy (or get you to buy) more muppets or blue's clues related merchandise. Cloth on the other hand is colorful and so adorable. Also, no advertising! Just a quick google search on cloth diapers will bring up loads of adorable colors and patterns. My recent favorite are goodmamas (http://www.thegoodmama.com/).
So those are just a few reasons why we use cloth. I love it. Joe changes the diapers too. Washing them isn't any more trouble than washing your clothes. Poopy diapers are fun, but luckily I have a handyman for a husband. He installed a really neat diaper sprayer by the toliet so I can spray it all away. Have questions or want to know more? Ask me or go to these sites for more information: